Henry Paine Stokes: Papers

Scope and Content


1. Publications, 6 items.

2. Miscellaneous correspondence, 10 items, 1885-1922.

3. Letters from G.G. Stokes, Lensfield Cottage, Cambridge, 14 items 1890-1903.

4. Material relating to G.G. Stokes, 4 items.

5. Memoir of G.G. Stokes by H.P. Stokes: 5/1 Chapters of H.P. Stokes's The life of G.G. Stokes, 22 items; 5/2 Notes for the memoir.

6. Material relating to John Mere, 10 items, 1915-1926.

7. Miscellaneous items, 17 items.


1. Press cuttings: 1/1 Press cuttings relating to Stokes's interest in Judaism, 6 items; 1/2 Miscellaneous press cuttings, 5 items.

2. Publications, 3 items, 1915-1927.

3. Letters from Corpus Christi College concerning its history, the gift of manuscripts to the College, and the gift of Stokes's library after his death, 7 items, 1897-1953.

4. Miscellaneous correspondence, 15 items, 1878-1925.

5. Material relating to Charles Lamb, 12 items.

6. Miscellaneous items: 6/1 Photographs; 6/2 Material relating to William and John Cowper, 4 items; 6/3 Other material, 8 items.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Paine Stokes (1849-1931) was born in Margate in 1849 and admitted in 1872 to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He graduated in 1875 and won the Harness Prize two years later. Further degrees were bestowed on him in the years that followed (M.A. and LL.M., 1878; LL.D., 1897; Litt.D., 1917) and he was made an Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi in 1912. He married Sophie Emmeline, third daughter of C.B. Mander of Wolverhampton, in 1894.

Stokes held the chaplancy of Corpus Christi (1875-1876), and was curate of St Paul's, Cambridge (1875-1876), Wyddial, Herts (1876-1881), St James's, Bristol (1881-1882), and St James's, Wolverhampton, (1882-1891), before he became vicar of St Paul's, Cambridge, in 1891. He stayed in this post until 1917, when he became Rector of Little Wilbraham, Cambridge. He was made Hon. Canon of Ely in 1917 and then Rural Dean of Quy (1922-1927). He also acted as President of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society between 1909 and 1911 and President of the Jewish Historical Society from 1914 to 1916. Stokes died on 16 June 1931.

Stokes was an authority on the antiquities of the town of Cambridge and its University. His works include The history of Corpus Christi College, The Esquire Bedells, Studies in Anglo-Jewish history, The chaplains and the chapel of the University of Cambridge, and an Attempt to determine the chronological order of Shakespeare's plays.

MS.Add.8699 includes material relating to George Gabriel Stokes (1819-1903), mathematician, physicist and Fellow of Pembroke College, who acted as churchwarden of St Paul's Church during H.P. Stokes's time as incumbent, but was not related to him. Also featured is John Mere, M.A. (d. 1558), who was an undergraduate of King's College, Cambridge, and became a Fellow there in 1526. Later he attached himself to Corpus Christi. In 1530 he was elected Bedell of Divinity and in 1542 was admitted Register of the University.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

MS.Add.8699 was purchased in 1986; MS.Add.8717 was purchased in 1987.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to J.A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, Part II (Cambridge University Press, 1954), pp. 50-51.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.